Faced with losing Pandora Productions as well as her best friend Rebecca to the smarmy Paul, savvy film executive Debbie makes a pact with the demon Shaker, agreeing to bind herself to him as his human master in return for killing Paul and securing Pandora’s future. Yet even as Pandora gains accolades and renown, Debbie’s strong resolve begins to crumble under the weight of her actions. And the pleasure she finds in Shaker’s arms is becoming more than sex.
Is Debbie doomed to lose her heart as well as her soul to a demon who has only been waiting for the chance to claim both?
Debbie awoke the next morning in her same clothes. Shaker was beside her, reading a book. With surprise, she recognized it as a recently published popular fiction novel.
Shaker caught her look, folded down the page, and put the book aside. “We demons can’t always be reading erotica,” he said with a laugh. “Not that I’d oppose a little morning delight, if you’re in the mood.”
Oddly, Debbie was very in the mood as she looked at Shaker’s muscular torso. But she pushed her desires down. “What do we have, Shaker?”
Shaker tilted his head quizzically. “You mean our relationship, I take it?”
“What do you want it to be?”
“Damn it!” Debbie yelled angrily, losing her composure. “Don’t answer me with a question! Tell me what you want from me!”
“What you’re willing to give,” Shaker replied easily.
“No! That’s not good enough! I want to know what you really want out of our arrangement!”
The casual expression Shaker always wore cracked. For a moment, despair and anger showed through. “What do you want me to say?” he rumbled in a low voice. “You want me to be romantic and say I want your love, that I love you? You want me to tell me you’re free to fuck whomever you want and I’ll still come to your bed on the nights you’ll have me?”
Debbie did not back down. “I want the truth, you asshole!”
“Fine,” Shaker said bitterly. He stood and faced her. “The truth is that I don’t expect anything: not your kindness, not your love, not your sex, not your loyalty and not your monogamy.” His eyes were red and furious. “I have had many Mistresses in my life, and they’ve run the gamut from evil sadist to chaste temptress, Debbie. I don’t expect to be treated fairly anymore.”
Debbie snorted. “You expect me to feel sorry for you? You murder people and make clothes out of their skin! You eat them!”
“I am a demon, and that is what demons do!” Shaker shouted, his booming tone rattling the windows in their frames.
“Which means that you don’t feel badly about any of what you’ve done,” Debbie continued stridently. “You are not human, yet you expect me to treat you like one, to feel sorry for your plight!”
“I don’t feel badly about what I’ve done, or what I’ll do,” Shaker retorted. “I don’t expect you to treat me like your boyfriend, or even a friend.” His tone had changed from angry to resigned. “But I do have feelings, even if they aren’t the same depth as yours are.”
Debbie gaped at him, surprised.
“I’m not a romantic hero, nor am I a cardboard one-dimensional villain whose only impulse is to do evil,” Shaker explained. “Those are the two popular human perceptions, and both are wrong.”
“Then what are you?” Debbie said sarcastically. “My savior?”
“I’m a slave,” Shaker said sadly. “And this is all there is for me.” He turned and left. Debbie called for him after a moment, but he didn’t reply.
Tara Fox Hall's writing credits include nonfiction, erotica, horror, suspense, action-adventure, children's stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice. All of her published children's stories to date are free reads on www.childrens-stories.net.
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